Batrep #3: Raid on the Black Mountain

(Original art by Games Workshop, colourist unknown)


Zhirae, Succubus of the Cult of Spite, exalted in the feeling of the wind whipping through her red braids as her Raider screamed across the flatlands, followed closely by flocks of Venoms, Reavers and Ravagers and other skycraft. Her raiding host was in motion, a fleet of flinty grey dagger-shapes speeding above the surface of this world like loosed arrows homing in on the soft flesh of a target. The world itself was a flat, ugly black rock, with a landscape of dry canyons, plains of barren earth and rising outcroppings of sandstone and basalt. There seemed to be nothing alive here– nothing that she could hunt, nothing that she could kill. It was oddly peaceful and tranquil– which made Zhirae hate it all the more.

Normally, she would never have even bothered leading a raid here, out into the middle of nowhere, but her patron, Lord Scyrex of the Revenant Shroud, had personally sent her on this mission. And in the distance, she could see their target approaching, closer and closer– a steep, slope-sided mountain, seemingly formed from black marble, its sides smooth and unblemished. At a cursory glance, the black mountain might have seemed to be a wondrous, if wholly natural, phenomenon. Zhirae knew better.

Soon, there would be battle. Her fingers closed against the handles of her blades in anticipation  of the slaughter to come. She could feel the palpable excitement of her Wych sisters alongside her in the Raider…but one other passenger was less than enthusiastic.

“Try not to cause too much collateral damage in your enthusiasm, Zhirae,” her sister by blood, Zhael, said with her usual icy aloofness as she absent-mindedly checked her nails. “Lord Scyrex will be disappointed if you accidentally break what he asked us to retrieve.”

Zhirae’s perfect lips twisted in an annoyed frown as she turned to her sister. “If you’re afraid of things getting rough, then why are you sharing a berth on my Raider, with my Cult?” she retorted. “Go on one of the other transports and sip wine with your Kabalite friends if you’d rather not get dirt all over that fancy dress of yours.” At this, her Wyches cackled in approval at their leader’s remark.

As usual, Zhael didn’t rise to the bait. She was, as ever, ice to Zhirae’s fire. “Lord Scyrex may have given you command of this raid,” she said, barely keeping her disapproval of this fact hidden, “but he appointed me to keep you in line, and to remind you of your objectives.” The ghost of a smirk could be seen on her alabaster face. “Of course, if it were down to me, I’d leave you to your own devices and watch  you explain your failure to him in person.”

For what felt like the millionth time, Zhirae suppressed the urge to stab her sister– not that the two hadn’t crossed blades hundreds of times before. Unlike Zhirae, Zhael had never joined the Wych Cult, choosing instead a path of subtlety and political machinations over  that of the blade. At this time, she was a high ranking Archon in the Kabal of the Revenant Shroud, and didn’t hide the fact that she was aiming for the position of Hierarch, the second-hand woman to Lord Scyrex himself– a title that Zhirae herself coveted.

A prominent Archon and the leader of an allied Wych Cult, both on the same Raider, both on the same realspace raid, both vying for power. Even an idiot could see that Lord Scyrex was testing them to see which of them would be worthy of being his right hand. Perhaps he even expected only one of them to return.

“You know I’m going to kill you one day, sister,” Zhirae muttered.

Zhael’s smirk widened. “You keep saying that, dear sister,” she said, “but you never succeed.”

Zhirae smirked back at her. “And neither do you.”

Whatever retort Zhael was going to issue was lost, as at that moment, the horizon was lit up with green radiance.

Shouts and cries of alarm went up as the raiding craft all took evasive maneuvers. Running to the prow of her Raider, Zhirae brought bone-carved telescope to her eye and stared down its length. She was greeted by a sight that sent involuntary chills down her spine. Skeletal, metallic figures were suddenly appearing before the mountain, winking into existence in flashes of sickly green light. As she watched, dozens of the figures were soon standing in rank after rank in front of the mountain, wielding rifles that crackled with viridian power. Around them buzzed dark, insectoid shapes, the occasional glint of nature betraying their artificial nature.

But that was nothing compared to the thing that appeared at the heart of this force. Hovering in the middle of the metallic warriors was a swirling mass of darkness, a writhing pulsar of shadow that seemed to suck in the sparse light of the grey world. As the raiding host drew closer, Zhirae could see other details in that mass of shadow– an umbral robe that writhed as though alive, a towering, emaciated body like that of a victim of famine, and a great scythe, the sight of which sent ripple of unspeakable terror through her soul.

Lord Scyrex had warned them that they would face resistance, but this…this was Death itself.

Zhael strode up next to her on the prow of the Raider. “Having second thoughts, sister?” she purred with a smile.

Zhirae flashed an angry look at her sister. “Hardly,” she snarled, before turning drawing her glaive. “All craft, attack! Let’s show these soulless things the true meaning of death!”


I while back, I broke my Dark Eldar (or Drukhari, or however you want to call them now) out of stasis and took them down to my LGS. I had arranged to meet another new-ish player for a game, and had agreed to a 1500 point battle between my Drukhari and his Necrons. We figured that this would be a decent matchup, given that we were both fielding Index armies and were both still learning the wonders and intricacies of 8th edition.

The scenario was No Mercy, Dawn of War deployment, and I had brought the following:



Succubus- Parasite’s Kiss, Archite glaive, Blade Dancer

Archon- blast pistol, agonizer, phantasm grenade launcher

5 Kabalite Warriors- blaster

-Venom- dual splinter cannons

5 Kabalite Warriors- blaster

-Venom- dual splinter cannons

5 Kabalite Warriors- blaster

-Venom- dual splinter cannons

8 Wyches- hydra gauntlet, Hekatrix w. agonizer

-Raider- dark lance

10 Mandrakes

6 Reaver Jetbikes- 2 grav talons

Ravager- 3 dark lances

Razorwing Jetfighter- 2 disintegrators


This list is fairly similar to what I ran back in 6th and 7th edition, with two new additions in the form of the Mandrakes and the Reavers, both of which I wanted to test out. Please note that I am in the process of painting over a lot of new minis for this army, so I apologize in advance for some of the unpainted or partly-painted models you’ll see in this game.


My opponent, meanwhile, brought:



Overlord- Staff of Light, resurrection orb, Enduring Will

Lord- Staff of Light


20 Necron Warriors

20 Necron Warriors

10 Immortals- gauss blasters

Shard of the Nightbringer- Antimatter Meteor

6 Canoptek Scarabs Swarms

6 Canoptek Scarabs Swarms

3 Canoptek Wraiths



I set up my army with my Wyches, Succubus and Archon deploying together in a Raider on the right flank, along with the Reavers. My aim at the time was to use the two units as a hard flanking punch. In the centre I put two Venoms and the Ravager so that I could get some shooting done as soon as possible.


Meanwhile, on the left flank, I placed another Venom and the Razorwing. (Note, all of the infantry models you see there are either in reserve or mounted on vehicles) The Mandrakes, meanwhile, went into reserve, waiting quietly in their shadow-dimension.


The Necrons, meanwhile, deployed with their Warriors and forming a semicircle around their Overlord and Cryptek. The Immortals and Lord went on the left flank, the Wraiths on the right, and the Scarabs occupied a flank each.




Going into this battle, my plan was to isolate and destroy his units one by one with overwhelming firepower and assault. I figured that the only way to counteract his Resurrection Protocols was to wipe his units out before they had a chance to resurrect.

I won the roll off…and for some reason chose to go second. I think at the time I wanted him to get closer before I sprang my assault units on him.




The Necrons began their turn with everything advancing. The Wraiths zoomed up ahead of the Necron phalanx, while the Scarab Swarms skirted up the flanks. The only unit that did not advance was the leftmost blob of Warriors, which levelled their gauss rifles and zapped a wound off of one of my Venoms at extreme range.

In response, I was left with a conundrum. My original plan had been to zoom aggressively down the right flank with my Wyches and Reavers, but now he had his Warriors on that flank nicely screened by Scarabs. At best, I would wipe the Scarabs out only for the Warriors to shoot me up in the following turn, at worst the Scarabs would survive and retreat, and my Wyches would be shot up anyway.


Instead I moved my Wych Raider and Reavers up towards the centre, biding my time and keeping them there for when the Necrons inevitably crept closer. The rest of my forces angled around a little as I brought every gun I could to bear on the Wraiths– I needed to destroy those things quickly, or they would tear apart whatever they charged.

In the shooting phase, almost my entire army unloaded into the Wraiths– save for my Razorwing, that was, which split its fire between the Wraiths and the leftmost Scarabs. A storm of splinter and darklight fire lashed out at the insubstantial killers, but when it cleared, one Wraith was still standing (floating?) on two wounds. My Razorwing’s missiles had also managed to kill two Scarab bases and put a wound on another, but I had really been hoping to kill off those Wraiths early on– even a single, wounded Wraith could cause me problems if left alone.



Drukhari- 0

Necrons- 0




Once again, the Necrons marched onwards, with the Scarabs advancing up to hopefully threaten my skimmers next turn and the lone Wraith diving headlong towards my massed vehicles. The Necron infantry, in turn, edged up, many now getting into long range of my nimble skimmers. Ahead of them, the Shard of the Nightbringer floated, gazing ominously at the assembled Drukhari.


A nearby Primaris Marine spectates, often quipping about the superiority of Mankind and how cheesy the Necrons are.


In the shooting phase, the central block of Warriors, hitting on 2’s thanks to their nearby Overlord, unloaded on my wounded Venom and stripped it of all 5 remaining wounds, wrecking it for First Blood! One Kabalite was wounded in the destruction, but thankfully, he passed his 6+ save from Power from Pain. The rightmost Warriors, thankfully, were out of range, but the Nightbringer unleashed an Antimatter Meteor at another Venom, blasting a wound off of it. It also unleashed its Gaze of Death at it, but scored no damage. Finally, the Immortals fired their gauss blasters up at my Razorwing, blasting 2 wounds off of it despite the -1 to hit modifier.

In the charge phase, the last Wraith lunged at the recently disembarked Warriors, who stood and shot in overwatch. By some miracle, the blaster hit and wounded…and then the Wraith failed its invulnerable save, even with a command point reroll! I proceeded to roll a 2 on the blaster’s damage, and the Wraith was vaporized as it tried to charge in. Needless to say, both my opponent and I were quite stunned by this.

In my turn, I realized that I had to go on the offensive now, especially since the Necrons would be getting into rapid fire range soon. With this in mind, I summoned the Mandrakes over from Aelindrach, and, after much deliberation, brought them in near the Immortals.

No, that’s not an empty base. That particular Mandrake is just really well camouflaged.

The Razorwing also flew over towards the Immortals that had so rudely shot at it at turn before, while the Wyches and characters disembarked and headed towards the Nightbringer. I really wanted to charge the Warriors behind the C’tan, but with it blocking the way, I knew the best I could do would be a multi-charge. I was hoping that my agonizers, sheer number of attacks and invulnerable saves would be enough to deal with the Nightbringer.

To the right of the Wyches, the Reavers flew up to go after the Warriors as well, while the Raider flew up to charge in and absorb overwatch. Finally, my Kabalites, Venoms, and Ravager all circled to bring their firepower to bear on those pesky Scarabs.

In the shooting phase, the Mandrakes began the festivities by unleashing 20 baleblast shots into the Immortals…and proceeded to roll an inordinate amount of 6s to wound, killing 5 of the Immortals with mortal wounds!

Not one to be outdone, the Razorwing unloaded all of its weapons on the Immortals as well. After a blistering squall of firepower, the remaining Immortals were annihilated, leaving the Necron Lord standing on his own.

In the rest of the shooting phase, my Venoms, the Warriors on board, the Ravager and even the Reavers all fired into the Scarabs. Just as in my last shooting phase, my Venoms rolled poorly, while the Warriors on board were unerringly accurate. Still, after all was said and done, both units of Scarabs were wiped out. As an encore, the Wyches fired their pistols at the Nightbringer and managed to plink a wound off of it as well.

In the charge phase, the Raider went into the Necron Warriors to soak up overwatch…and proceeded to take 7 unsaved wounds from massed gauss fire! The Reavers went into the Warriors as well, while the Wyches and both of my characters multicharged both the Nightbringer and the Warriors. Finally, the Mandrakes made their long charge into the lone Necron Lord.

In the fight phase, the Mandrakes unleashed 30 attacks and managed to hack 3 wounds off of the Necron Lord, who whiffed his return attacks thanks to the Mandrakes’ -1 to hit rule.

In the big central fight, the Succubus focused all of her attacks on the Nightbringer, scoring 7 hits on it thanks to her Blade Dancer trait but only doing one wound. In retrospect, I should have sent her against the Warriors rather than attacking a tough target like the Nightbringer. In exchange, my opponent used two command points to interrupt with the Nightbringer, who focused its attacks on my Succubus, did something like 12 wounds to her and killed her outright. This hurt, because not only had I just lost my warlord, but also the Succubus’ reroll 1s aura for the Wyches and Reavers.
In the rest of the fight, the Archon and Hekatrix did a wound each to the Nightbringer with their agonizers, while the rest of the Wyches and the Reavers combined to kill an impressive 10 Necrons. The Warriors swung back though, and clubbed down two Wyches. The Necrons had sustained massive losses, but my opponent then spent two more command points to have them auto-pass morale, keeping them from evaporating in the morale phase. That hurt, as I had been hoping to wipe out that squad in one fell swoop, and now I would have to deal with their Resurrection Protocols next round.

Drukhari: 4
Necrons: 4


At the start of the Necron turn, the Necron Lord regained a wound, and five Necron Warriors rose again…before the Overlord used his resurrection orb, raising back another three. In an instant, almost all of the damage I had done to that squad was gone. At least he didn’t also have the Veil of Darkness to teleport them out of combat– THAT would have been annoying.
With only one unit unengaged aside from his characters, the Necron player edged his rightmost Warriors into rapid fire range of the Razorwing. They proceeded to then freem 5 wounds off the plane, leaving it teetering on 3 and its last level of damage. Then, in close combat, the Nightbringer scythed down two Wyches, while the Wyches did a wound to the Nightbringer and killed a Warrior. In reply, the Warriors, hitting on 2s thanks to the nearby Overlord, clobbered down all four remaining Wyches and did two wounds to the Raider, leaving it hanging on one. The Archon, in turn, whiffed, while the Reavers sliced down another three Warriors.

Elsewhere, the Necron Lord again swung and missed at the Mandrakes, before being torn limb from limb. Victorious, the Mandrakes consolidated towards the unengaged Warriors.

In my turn, the Razorwing used it’s full move to flee back to my deployment zone, while the Raider limped out of combat. The Mandrakes moved towards the unengaged Warriors, and everything else angled to get line of sight on said Warriors.

In the shooting phase, almost everything in my army shot at the unengaged Warriors, with the Mandrakes doing the lion’s share of the damage once again with their superbly effective baleblasts. When the dust cleared, a massive fifteen Warriors had been brought down, leaving five. Meanwhile, the Archon fired her blast pistol at the Nightbringer, but failed to hurt the C’tan.

In the charge phase, the Mandrakes charged the surviving Warriors, shrugging off overwatch and, now hitting on 2s thanks to Power from Pain, wiping the Necrons out in a hurricane of rusty blades, before consolidating into the nearby Overlord and Cryptek. In turn, the Overlord and Cryptek swung back at their shadowy foes, the Overlord managing to cut down one of them.

Meanwhile, the Nightbringer turned its attention to the Reavers, cutting down one of the nimble Jetbikes, though the Warriors did no damage. For their part the Reavers sliced apart another four Warriors, while the Archon tried and failed to hurt the Nightrbringer.

Drukhari- 5
Necrons- 5

At the start of the Necron turn, six Warriors once again stood up. The Nightbringer, meanwhile, unexpectedly flew out of combat to go after the retreating Razorwing, ditching my poor Archon on the dance floor. My opponent later told me he had done so because he didn’t want the Nightbringer stuck fighting the Archon all game.

In the shooting phase, the Nightbringer unleashed an Antimatter Meteor at said Razorwing, doing three wounds and instantly causing it to crash and burn, killing one of the disembarked Kabalites in the explosion! As an encore it tried to freem a nearby Venom with its Gaze of Death, but failed to wound.

In close combat, the Reavers scythed down another five Necron Warriors, though the Necrons scored a wound on the Reavers in return and took no further damage from morale. Meanwhile, the Mandrakes scored a wound each on the Overlord and Cryptek, though the Overlord swatted down another of the shadow-things in reply.

In my turn, I had a big, Grim Reaper-shaped problem in my deployment zone, and one that I needed to deal with immediately. To this end, I had all of my vehicles circle the Nightbringer in an effort to finally bring it down.

With everything else in combat, I went straight to the shooting phase and fired everything I had at the Nightbringer, unleashing lances and splinters into it from every angle. My opponent made an absurd number of invulnerable saves, but in the end, one last splinter shot from one of the Venom-mounted Kabalites took the C’tan’s last wound, sending the Nightbringer shrieking back into the abyss from whence it came.

In the charge phase, the Archon, who had been separated from the main fight by placement and consolidation weirdness, charged back into the fray against the Necron Warriors and proceeded to hack down two deathbots, while the Reavers sliced down another four. It was at this point that I looked back at the Index and discovered that, contrary to my initial belief, the shadow field COULD NOT be rerolled by a Command Point– a supposed fact that had kept my opponent from allocating any attacks to her all game. The last few Warriors directed their attacks at the Archon, did a handful of wounds…and sure enough, a 1 came up, causing the shadow field to short out. My Archon was now wounded and bereft of her fancy force field…and to make matters worse, the Necrons passed their morale test! Uh oh…

Elsewhere, the combat between the Mandrakes and the Necron characters dragged on, with the shadow-things hacking two wounds off of the Cryptek. In reply, though, the Overlord hacked down another two Mandrakes, and the fight dragged on…


Drukhari- 6

Necrons- 6



At the start of my turn…yes, you guessed it, Reanimation Protocols kicked in, and 9 Necron Warriors clambered back to unlife. Oh joy. And, as usual, both Necron characters healed a wound each.

With nothing able to shoot, we went straight to close combat. The Necrons managed to hack down the wounded Reaver, before wailing on my defenceless Archon. I fully expected to lose her then and there…but to my surprise, she managed to cling to life on one wound remaining! In exchange, though, the Archon only managed to kill one Warrior, while the Reavers only slice down two more. This time, though, in part thanks to the -1 LD inflicted on them by the Power from Pain table, the Necrons actually failed morale, and one Necron settled into the peaceful abyss of perma-death.

Meanwhile, the Mandrakes again only did one wound to the Cryptek and bounced off of the Overlord, who killed another of them in return. And so the endless combat dragged on…

In my turn, I finally realized that (1) I needed to get Linebreaker, and (2) my Mandrakes were fighting a losing battle. I had my Mandrakes fall back out of combat, while my vehicles all zoomed up, with one Venom advancing into the enemy deployment zone as they all circled the two Necron characters. I was tempted to have the Reavers fall back as well, but I figured that they were better off slicing Necron Warriors into chunks.

In the shooting phase, the Archon fired her blaster pistol and failed to wound with it. Meanwhile, everything else that could opened fire on the Overlord and Cryptek. The Cryptek was the first to die, shredded from one poisoned hit too many. The Overlord, on the other hand, kept making save after save, but eventually, one last blaster shot vaporized him, killing him off and earning me Slay the Warlord.

No sooner had the Overlord been vaporized, though, when we went to close combat. The Archon managed to kill one more Warrior before being unceremoniously hacked to ribbons by the Warriors. The Reavers, in turn, managed to kill another two or three Warriors, but again, the Necrons held their ground.

At this point, we had to roll for random game length. The dice roll came up as a 1, and the game ended.



Drukhari- 10

Necrons- 8


Thoughts: That was a fun, close battle, with the score being tied all the way until the end. Despite the score being so close, though, I actually felt like I was fairly in control all throughout the game. Thanks to my army’s superior mobility, I was able to strike when and where I wanted, dictating the flow of the battle and forcing my opponent to react to me. The fact that I was able to destroy his most mobile units early on helped a great deal as well, as it meant I was pretty much able to run rings around his army at leisure. My strategy of isolating and destroying his units worked well…sort of. While I was able to effectively wipe out several of his units with combined shooting and assault, his big block of Warriors proved almost unkillable thanks to the buffs of the nearby Overlord and Cryptek, absolutely refusing to die and killing off my Wyches and Archon in that big never-ending melee. While the Necrons weren’t able to outmatch me in the shooting department, the sheer resilience of their units made this a fairly close game.

After my first outing with the Drukhari (before their new codex release, that is), I’m happy to see that they are still as lightning fast as they were in previous editions, but there are a lot of changes that I will have to get used to. The change of splinter cannons to rapid-fire weapons meant that I was forced to become much more aggressive with Venoms, and the fact that the Razorwing could actually be hit more easily by enemy fire (albeit with negative modifiers) meant that I was forced to be more cautious with the fragile plane when it started to take damage. On the other hand, I love how reliable combat drugs have become, how much more resilient Reavers are (even if Wyches, sadly, still die with ease), and just how amazing Mandrakes have become– my one unit of Mandrakes almost single-handedly steamrolled the back half of the Necron army. And if nothing else, I’m happy to see that Drukhari are still as effective at mobile firepower as they have always been– my vehicles and vehicle mounted squads, as before, were able to inflict a lot of damage with their massed firepower.

Overall, this was a satisfying first game of 8th ed with my Drukhari. I have no idea how many games with them I’ll be able to get in with the new codex, however, so it may be the next game with them may be with a completely new set of rules.

Drukhari MVP: The Mandrakes were on fire in this game, annihilating the Necron Lord, half a unit of Immortals, and a unit of Warriors, and they also came quite close to killing off the Cryptek as well. Honourable nods also go to the Warriors and Venoms, for just generally providing me a reliable and effective firebase all game.

Necron MVP: The big unit of Warriors gets my vote, as they took pretty much everything I could throw at them and still came out of the battle above half strength, having killed off the Wyches and my Archon in the bargain. My opponent, however, felt that the Warriors were awesome only because of the Cryptek boosting him, and so personally gave his MVP to the Cryptek.


Zhael felt one eyelid stutter open as weak sensation filled her frame. She could taste blood in the back of her mouth, and her body was wracked with sharp, biting pain, raw with the memory of Necron blades splitting her flesh. It took a few seconds for her to realize that she had been momentarily dead, before the parasites injected into her by the Haemonculi did their grisly work, regenerating her wounds and bringing her back to life. The pain would linger until her body, now whole and unblemished once more, grew used to its latest resurrection, But then, she and pain were old friends, and it had few surprises remaining for her.

“Ah, you’re awake,” a sibilant voice spoke. “I was wondering when the regenerative cultures would do their work.”

Not suppressing her annoyance, Zhael slowly sat upright, opening her eyes fully to the sight of Vakkan, one of the Kabal’s allied Haemonculi, hovering over her, elevated by the prehensile spinal column jutting, serpent-like, from his back. No doubt, he had arrived on the scene from the webway after the fighting was done, as usual.

She also realized that he was holding something tightly in his three arms: a smooth orb, its glossy black surface shimmering with faint traceries of green light. It was the orb that had been carried by the Necrontyr Lord: the same orb, she realized, that they had been sent to retrieve in the first place.

She did nothing to hide her annoyance as she stood back up, seeing now that her dress was torn and stained with blood and soot from her most recent “death”. This just would not do, she thought bitterly as she took a look around her surroundings. Her raiding party was busy recovering the damage, dragging away the bodies of their comrades, and, where possible, looting what they could. But of the Necrontyr, there was no sign– no bodies, no wreckage. Nothing but the grave-like stillness of the air as the the day slowly turned to night.

“The raiding host suffered minor personnel and material losses,” Vakkan stated matter of factly, pre-empting her question as always, before holding up the orb. “But thanks to your efforts, we have Lord Scyrex’s prize. We should be able to make our transition through the Webway without further incident.”

“Then let us be on our way,” Zhael replied, adopting her aloof demeanour againdespite her battered state. “If you haven’t resurrected my sister yet, do so. This world no longer retains my interest.”

Vakkan said nothing. The pale skin around his shrivelled skull tightened involuntarily in what could pass for a frown.

“What?” Zhael asked.

The Haemonculous’ body dipped low, giving an obeisant bow. “About your sister…there were…complications.”

Zhael felt her blood run cold. “What do you mean complications?”

Bowing again, the Haemonculous turned and gestured across the field. Numbly, Zhael followed his gaze to the middle of the battle site, where the bodies of the Wyches were being dragged off for resurrection, in some cases after being shamelessly looted. All of the bodies, that was, save for one. There, Zhirae lay spread eagled on the ground, her usually pale skin now a bloodless shade of white and a massive gouge opened in her chest. The Succubus’ weapons lay scattered beside her, and her eyes were open, staring up sightlessly at the sky as though silently asking it for some answer.

Slowly, Zhael walked over to her sister’s body, her movement somewhat staggered as sensation returned to her limbs. “Why have you not brought her back?” she asked Vakkan.

Floating up next to her, Vakkan tented his syringe-clawed fingers together with a metallic clack. “I have tried, Mistress,” he replied. “But unfortunately…there is nothing for me to resurrect. Her soul is gone.”

Zhael felt her pulse drop. She turned to face Vakkan. “What do you mean gone?”

“I mean, the soul-prism she carried with her is empty,” Vakkan replied. “She was slain by a shard of…Kaelis Ra, yes? The Nightbringer. A creature that is the embodiment of death itself. When it killed her, I fear it took her soul in the process, and quite possibly, obliterated it.”

For a moment, Zhael was silent. Then, slowly, she took a step towards Vakkan, her movements stiff and deliberate. “Impossible. Bring her back,” she ordered. “Now.”

Vakkan shook his head. “There is nothing to bring back, Mistress, she is gone,” he replied. His mouth soon twisted into a horrible, rictus grin. “Which means that the credit of this victory will be yours, and yours alone. No doubt Lord Scyrex will recognize you well for this success. Congratulations, Hierar–“

There was a flash of silver, and Vakkan’s head flew from his shoulders. The Haemonculous’ body remained suspended upright for a few seconds, as though surprised by its sudden decapitation, before flopping lifelessly to the ground.

Dropping her blade, Zhael knelt over her sister’s body, and screamed up at the uncaring sky.

Batrep #2: The Reaper Cometh

(Art by Sharpwriter at Deviantart)


The shelling had finally ceased. Clambering back onto the roof of the ruined administratum building that served as her command post, Canoness Lucia Trevalyne surveyed the damage: the hive sector, already a battered skeleton after weeks of fighting, had been reduced further by the bombardment, its ruins bleached white with fungal rot and its streets scoured to the granite by viral-bomb impacts. Nothing remained alive in this sector– nothing, that was, except she and her Sisters.

Her gas mask hissed as it filtered out the numerous contaminants that now shrouded the city sector in a bilious green fog. At her command, her forces wheeled into position: even as heavy weapon teams set up in elevated positions around her, below, in the city streets, tanks rumbled forwards– Rhinos, Immolators, Repressors and Exorcists, all in the same noble blue and white colours of the Order of the Blessed Damsel. She had wisely kept her forces back, out of range of the Death Guard’s mortars, and now her Sisters stood more than ready to repel the heretic assault.

Taking up a pair of magnoculars, Lucia watched the distant hive outskirts for any sign of the Death Guard approach. So thick was the toxic smog from that last bombardment that a fine, sickly mist surrounded them for miles on end. She had been hearing scattered, fragmented reports from Imperial Guard units in the neighbouring sectors– most of them hasty, panicked reports of positions being overrun by heretic infantry and armour, and of the enemy using massed chemical and biological weapons. A lot of the reports, however, had been…unusual, to say the least. Reports of vast clouds of flies blotting out the sun, of the dead rising to walk again…and of a vast, terrible angel of pestilence swooping down and visiting death and ruin to all in its path.

The thoughts made her unconsciously clutch her rosarius and mouth the Incantation of Purity. Let the heretics come and bring with them all the monsters of the Cicatrix, she thought to herself. They were the Sisters of Battle, the warriors of the Ecclesiarchy, and there was no foe that could stand against faith.

No sooner had she made this thought, however, when the first of those abominations arrived.

Lucia almost jumped when a silhouette became visible in the green fog, before it came staggering out into view. It wore the tattered coveralls of a lower hive factorum-worker, and was lurching with a painful gait. At first, Lucia thought the newcomer must be another refugee fleeing from the heretic vanguard…until she noticed that the figure was missing an arm. A bony stump jutted out from its torn shoulder, and bone protruded at odd angles from its knee and shin where its leg had been crushed. But it wasn’t just the figure’s disfigurements that Lucia noticed: bony spines stabbed outwards from its shoulders, in blatant mockery of the purity of the human form. Colonies of boils and tumours massed along its greying flash. But perhaps worst of all, its mouth was practically split from ear to ear in a hideous, rictus grin. The freakish thing seemed to be smiling at them as it dragged itself across the open ground of the ruined intersection towards the Sororitas lines.

Behind it, another silhouette formed in the fog, followed by another. And another. And another. Almost in an instant, a horde of the shuffling, grinning mutants shambled out into the open, more and more arriving with each passing second. They walked with a slow, lethargic gait, and moved silently saved for the dry shuffling of dozens of feet.

“To arms!” she shouted into the vox. “Armoured units, move into attack positions! All support units, fire at will!”

No sooner had she given this order when her position was hit by what felt like a powerful gust of wind. An overwhelming smell of rot, leprous decay, and foul chemical toxicity wafted over her and her Retributors, and despite her respirator, Lucia could feel it flooding her nostrils and mouth and invading her lungs. She doubled over, almost wanting to tear her mask off as she coughed and gagged. One of her Sisters shook her by the shoulder, and she looked up over the wall of the roof to see where her Sister was pointing.

In the distance, another silhouette was forming– a monstrously tall shape, almost as big as the building they stood upon, with vast, tattered wings spreading outward like some immense insect about to take flight…

This game was played a few months ago at one of my LGS. It was my third or fourth game of 8th ed, and the details are hazy at this point in time, so unfortunately this report is going to be extremely light on details. From what I do remember, it was a 2000 point game, between my Sisters of Battle and Death Guard.

My list was as follows:


Saint Celestine- 2 Geminae Superiae, Legendary Fighter
Canoness- bolt pistol, eviscerator
5 Battle Sisters- storm bolter, heavy flamer
-Immolator- Immolation flamer
5 Battle Sisters- storm bolter, heavy flamer
-Immolator- Immolation flamer
5 Battle Sisters- storm bolter, heavy flamer
-Immolator- Immolation flamer
9 Arco Flagellants
Ministorum Priest- eviscerator
5 Dominions- 4 meltaguns
-Repressor- 2 heavy flamers
5 Dominions- 4 meltaguns
-Repressor- 2 heavy flamers
6 Retributors- 4 heavy bolters

Note that while this game was played just after Chapter Approved, my opponent hadn’t gotten it yet, and so I agreed not to use any of the stuff from it. Also I was trying to keep things WYSWIG as much as possible, but even so, I was proxying a lot of my storm bolters and both of my Repressors. Also, Uriah Jacobus was standing in for an Imagifier, since I forgotten to bring her with me.

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My opponent’s list:


Typhus- Gift of Contagion, Miasma of Pestilence
Malignant Plaguecaster- The Suppurating Plate, Miasma of Pestilence, Putrescent Vitality
5 Plague Marines- blight launcher
20 Poxwalkers
20 Poxwalkers
Helbrute- twin lascannon, missile launcher
Noxious Blightbringer
Foetid Bloat-Drone- 2 plaguespitters, plague probe
Foetid Bloat-Drone- 2 plaguespitters, plague probe
Chaos Land Raider- combi-flamer

Mortarion- Blades of Putrefaction, Miasma of Pestilence, Putrescent Vitality

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An overview of the battle. We were playing Cleanse and Capture, diagonal deployment, and it was only my 3rd game of the current edition to date against an army I was unfamiliar with, led by a Daemon Primarch. No pressure.

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The Big Guy, plus bloaty friend.

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Things were a bit crammed in my deployment zone.

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Canoness, Retributors and Imagifier hole up in a ruined administratum building, ready to rain death on the heretics below. Imagifier played by Uriah Jacobus: Intergalactic Man of Mystery.

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Repressors scout up. The plan, at least originally, is to bring meltaguns to bear on his Bloat Drones as early as possible.

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Turn 1, and I initiate a general advance, trying to grab objectives and bring as many weapons to bear on his Bloat Drones and Helbrute as possible. I’m resolving to ignore Morty for now.

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Repressor + Dominions advance to grab objective 1.

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Despite my best efforts, my Exorcists, Dominions…and, well, almost everything else that was in range did minimal damage to the Death Guard vehicles. Uh oh.

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Blurry battlefield ahoy

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Mortarion approaches…

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The Poxwalkers advance, and are promplty buffed to strength and toughness 5 by combined spells and Typhus’ bubble effect. Also, Miasma went up, forcing -1 to hit them. Bloat Drones, meanwhile, zoom out to be annoying.

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An Immolator takes some damage….

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….and the Helbrute uses its crazy “shoot twice” Stratagem to blow up my leftmost Repressor, leaving the Dominions stranded! Further shooting would reduce them to one girl. Thankfully, she narrowly avoids being charged by a Bloat Drone.

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My turn, and Celestine faith-jumps up to say hi to Typhus and friends. I’m pretty much hoping to have Celestine assassinate his characters.

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The Order maintains its general advance, looking to grab objectives and lay down heavy firepower wherever possible.

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With Mortarion right in front of the Dominions, it would be rude not to open fire…which they do, knocking something like 4 wounds off of him! The rest of my shooting is dismal, though, with my shots again bouncing off of Death Guard vehicles. Even more embarassingly, my Immolation flamers only manage to singe a couple of Poxwalkers here and there (those that are in range, anyway)

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Celestine charges in…and immediately gets hit by the area-affect mortal wounds power from both Typhus and Mortarion! Both Geminae get sick and die before they can even swing, leaving Celestine on her own!

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The fight goes badly, with Celestine fluffing her attacks and only doing a couple of wounds to Typhus. Embarassingly, not only does Typhus knock a lot of wounds off of her, but the Noxious Blightbringer does 2 unsaved wounds of his own! I actually have to spend a command point to keep Celestine from dying to morale! At this point, after using way too many CPs, I’m down to one.

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Overview of the battlefield. Note the Arco-Flagellants’ Rhino is positioned at the back, its cargo waiting for the right moment to counter-attack…

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Plaguemarines and their Plaguecaster buddy disembark to fling some spells.

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Another Immolator is blowed up. All of my tanks at this point are starting to take damage.

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Mortarion charges the Repressor, wrecking it.

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Poxwalkers charge the Arco-Flagellants’ Rhino, and almost manage to surround it. Almost. I learned my lesson from last time.

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A Bloat Drone charges an Immolator to tie it up and keep it from shooting.

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After taking several Smites in a row (I find it ridiculous that that power can target units in combat), Celestine resurrects, narrowly avoiding being charged yet again by the Poxwalkers.

Their ride wrecked, the Dominions stare down Morty.

Start of my turn, my Sisters disembark wherever possible to fire into the Death Guard. The Arco-Flagellants disembark to deal witht he Poxwalkers, and Celestine goes after the badly-damaged Helbrute.

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Mortarion is down to 9 wounds at this point, and I am determined to end him. This time, sadly, all of my combined firepower fails to so much as scratch him or his Bloat Drone buddy. Come on, Emperor, I could really use some help here…

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Celestine charges the Helbrute, which is sitting pretty on 4 wounds…and whiffs horribly, leaving it still standing on 2 wounds! Aaargh!

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Do the Poxwalker shuffle! It involves shambling a lot and being quarantined by the CDC.

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My lone Dominions from the uppermost squad had been hiding and claiming objective 4 all this time. That is, until a Bloat Drone came her way…

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Arco-Flagellants charge in and destroy all but 1 Poxwalker. Unfortunately, this denied me Blood and Guts.

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Try as I might, I can’t kill Morty. Now that he has closed in, it has become quite difficult to avoid his area effect.

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After a good advance and charge roll thanks to the Blighbtinger, Typhus and Poxwalkers manage to charge Celestine again.

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A squad of disembarked Sisters takes heavy damage, leaving one lone Sister who is then probed to death by a Bloat Drone.

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Morty, meanwhile, mortifies my tanks.

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It’s not all bad, though. After dismantling the last Poxwalker they were fighting, the Arco Flagellants lose a few to firepower and Smitiing. Enough of them still remain, however, to charge the Plague Marines, ripping apart three of them for no loss.

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To my utter frustration, Celestine AGAIN whiffs against Typhus, and AGAIN falls to his Manreaper!

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Overview of the battle.

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The Plaguecaster and his buddies wisely fall back from the Arco Flagellants, pumping more firepower into them as they go.

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Having destroyed most fo the Sororitas units sent after him and shrugging off almost everythign I could fire, Mortarion goes after my firebase.

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The remaining Arco Flagellants and Priest continue to go after the heretics. In the end, the Plague Marines are wiped out and a wounded Plaguecaster is left surrounded.

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Charging in, Mortarion wipes out the Retributors, then the Imagifier. In a last act of defiance, my Canoness revs up her eviscerator and charges Mortarion…and fails to even wound him, before falling to Silence.

Sisters lose by a few points to lots.

Honestly, my luck was terrible this game, but also, I think I just got way too obsessed with killing Mortarion– amazingly, I echoed my mistake from the Sisters vs Orks game by obsessing over killing his big, nasty Lord of War instead of dealing with his other stuff. I was actually content to ignore him at first, but after I took off almost half his wounds in one round of shooting, I believed that I could actually finish the big guy off. Unfortunately, once he started getting his toughness buff and to hit modifier up, it became all but impossible to hurt Mortarion, nor slow him down. I guess the best thing I could have done was try locking Morty in combat with my Rhinos, and even then, that only would have worked for so long.

That being said, I was also way too reckless with Celestine, and ended up having her getting mobbed and torn down twice in a row when I really should have been using her to deal with Bloat Drones. Speaking of which, I think I may need more meltaguns in my army, because it got annoying trying to take down Bloat Drones, Mortarion etc with nought but bolters and flamers.

Lessons learned: bring more meltas, use the Living Saint a little more sensibly, and try not to get distracted by the enemy’s biggest, scariest unit. Hopefully, I will manage to actually win with Sisters in 8th edition at some point.

Mortarion watched as the impaled body of the Sororitas leader slid down the blade of Silence, her body putrefying and decaying rapidly even as her once pristine armour flaked and disintegrated with rust. Casually, he flicked his scythe outwards and flung the body aside as he surveyed the battlefield. Of the Sororitas who had opposed the Death Guard, none remained alive– the city square was strewn with the burning wrecks of vehicles, and scores of power-armoured bodies. Bodies which, even now, jerked upright and shambled into twitching unlife to join the thronging Poxwalkers, rictus grins twisting across their mutating faces.

It was another victory over the crumbling house of cards that his Father called an Imperium. Another host of blind fanatics sundered on the battlefield, justly rewarded for their misguided faith. Another world, slowly but surely succumbing to the inevitability of entropy.

“A fine victory, my Primarch.” Mortarion turned in the direction of the voice. Even with the fluids gushing in his throat and the horrendous damage that centuries of rot had done to his esophagus, there was no disguising the hint of mockery in Typhus’ tone as his wayward son strode towards him, his scythe dragging lazily on the cobblestones behind him with a grate of rust on rust. “The Grandfather will no doubt be pleased by today’s offering.”

Mortarion exhaled, the sound in his ancient rebreather sounding closer to a growl than a hiss. “Marshal our warriors back to the ships, Calas,” he rumbled, intentionally using the name Typhus had abandoned ages ago. “We are leaving.”

Typhus halted in his tracks. Even with his heavy faceplate, Mortarion could imagine the look of incredulity on Typhus’ face. “You cannot be serious!” Typhus spat, all pretense of respect for his gene-father gone. “The rest of this hive remains unconquered! It MUST fall to decay and degradation! We MUST complete what we have begun! Or are you so high and mighty that you would deny Nurgle his prize?”

Slowly, Mortarion rounded on his former First Captain, letting his tremendous shadow fall across Typhus as he glowered down at him. “Even after all that has happened, Calas, I am still master of this legion,” he growled To emphasize the message, his grip on his scythe noticeably tightened as his wings spread. “Never forget that.”

Favoured as he was by Nurgle, Typhus was not so foolish as to challenge his Primarch, and he bowed in quick, craven deference. “Your will shall be done,” he muttered, “but where shall we go? Are you desirious of a rematch against your brother Guilleman?”

“No.” The Daemon Primarch’s gaze turned upwards towards the polluted sky. “Not yet, at any rate. For now, there is another of my brothers who shall need to be dealt with. For good or for ill…there will soon be a reckoning to be had with Magnus…”

Next Projects

With the new year looming ahead, I’ve found myself practically bursting with various hobby ideas and things I either want to get start or get into…and finding said ideas running up against things I’ve already started, or a limited budget. Here are some of the projects I’m considering getting into over the next year or so.

Thousand Sons

One of GW’s newer releases, the standalone Thousand Sons codex has caught my eye as of late. At first I was leery of it because of the emphasis it seems to place on Tzaangors over the actual Thousand Sons themselves, especially since all of its “new” units have actually been ported over from Age of Sigmar. But the more I look at the book, the more I find myself seriously considering collecting them as an army– while I see a lot of the new units as odd choices, at the same time they haven’t put me off. This isn’t helped by the fact that I’m currently reading the Horus Heresy book A Thousand Sons, or the fact that I always found a legion of sorcerous scholars, philosophers and librarians to be extremely cool. Furthermore, they serve the coolest Chaos god (don’t let those Khorne or Nurgle-worshipping fools tell you otherwise), have fantastic models, and in all honesty, given how they were wronged by the Imperium, I don’t see them as ‘bad guys’ to the same extent as the other Chaos legions.

The problem is, if I were to get into Thousand Sons now, it would be a case of bad timing. The Drukhari codex is coming, and with it will come plenty of playtime for my favourite spiky space pirates, which means I’ll have to seriously choose between taking them or the KSons out for games. Furthermore, if I do go for Thousand Sons, I would have to decide between their 30k and 40k versions– given the metas for both games, it will be difficult to collect a force that can do both, and this isn’t helped by the fact that 30k has gained serious momentum in my area. This is all, of course, to say nothing of how Thousand Sons might in turn lead to Daemons and/or Disciples of Tzeentch for AOS if I’m not careful.

I may end up putting Thousand Sons off in favour of updating my languishing Drukhari, but at the end of the day, I still feel the almost gravity-like pull of the Ninth Legion calling to me. I am making no commitments as of yet, but I can only resist the lure of heresy for so long…

Imperial allies?

(Illustration by DiegoGisbertLlorens at Deviantart)

A safer, and less costly option for me is the inclusion of new allies for my Adepta Sororitas army…and given how wide-ranging the armies of the Imperium are, the possibilities are endless. One of the most obvious candidates are Space Marines: I have an old, and somewhat neglected Crimson Fists force from when I first started Warhammer aeons ago, and it would be no big task to pull them out of their box, touch a few of them up, and field some of them to bolster my Sororitas (or vice versa, to field my Sisters in support of my boys in blue). Of course, if I do that, then I run a very real risk of temptation…namely of caving in to those nice new Primaris characters, or Hellblasters, or Aggressors, or aaaarghitsbeginningalreadystooopp….

Ahem. Alternatively, I could run Astra Militarum; a few cheap Infantry squads with some character backup would not only give my Sororitas a lot of cheap scoring units, but would also be an easy way to bulk up on command points (heck, I could easily run a brigade of pure IG infantry for less than 500 points). I also admit, I’ve been toying with this option because the current and forthcoming Necromunda models have given me the idea of a Penal Legion guard army, which would be incredibly fun to paint, convert and play.

Finally, there are certain Inquisitorial specialists I could add. At present, I have about 10 Grey Knight Terminators sitting unused in my cabinet, crying out to be painted. In addition to them, though, I’ve been toying with the idea of a squad of Deathwatch: just a simple kill team of 5-10 Veterans, all from a eclectic variety of chapters, led by a Terminator Captain or Librarian who can deep strike and then make use of their teleporting relic for extra cheesiness. I will admit, I’ve been kind of chomping at the bit to use Deathwatch ever since their codex came out in the tail end of 7th, since I’ve always felt they were one of the coolest “specialist” forces out there.

Of course, the big danger of any sort of ally force is that, if I’m not careful, it could turn into a new army in its own right– and thus the endless money pit that is miniature wargaming grows ever wider…

Age of Sigmar?

I still have abput 2500-3000 points of Lizardmen (based on old WHFB point values) from back when Warhammer Fantasy was a thing. I was one of the many who watched in perplexity a few years ago when Fantasy was brought to an apocalyptic end, and then morphed into Age of Sigmar. I did not jump on the Age of Sigmar bandwagon back then, and for the most part still have not now, but a few things have been steadily changing my mind:

  1. An active community– AOS has grown in my area (downtown Toronto and GTA) over the past few years, to the point where there is a very active player community.
  2. The rules have had time to evolve– according to the AOS players I’ve met, the rules have come a long way since their first inception, and are much better now thanks to the various iterations of the General’s Handbook.
  3. The AOS rules and 8th edition 40k rules are both rather similar, so I’ve already gotten an introduction of sorts through my main game.

I am sorely tempted to one day break my beloved lizards (or Seraphon, as they are called now for some reason) out of their long hibernation and resume upholding the ineffable will of the Old Ones, though if I do that, I will first need to familiarize myself with the AOS rules, and more importantly, with the Seraphon rulebook. Doing so will mean committing the time to doing so, though, and given how I’m lucky if I can get a game once a week due to my busy schedule, I’m not sure if that’s doable.


I actually got into Infinity a few years ago because my girlfriend currently plays it. I have to admit, I rather liked the minis, and found the cyberpunk setting and the small scale a refreshing change from 40k (especially since the lower model count meant for a cheaper hobby). However, I have never been able to dive into it half as much as I was expecting: while I have started up on an Ariadna force (a faction of scrappy underdog colonists with modern-day technology in a future-tech setting) a few years ago, I have repeatedly had difficulty assembling many of the models– quite a lot of them have joins that are difficult to glue together, and some require a degree of pinning that seems beyond my modelling ability. At the moment, my Ariadnans have been on indefinite hiatus because (1) Toronto’s foremost Infinity group meets on a day that is rather difficult for me, and (2) whenever I turn back to Infinity, something 40k always grabs my attention instead. It has honestly gotten to the point where I wonder whether I should even persist with Infinity.

I hope to get a few more games of it in this year: then I may be able to make a more informed decision of whether to abstain while I’m ahead, or whether to dive headlong into a force of mechsuit-riding werewolf GI Joes.


X-Wing is another game that my girlfriend and I got the boxed set for, on the grounds that it is very easy to simply pick up and play: the models come pre-painted, there are terrain and markers readily available in the boxed set, and the game itself is quite small, with only anywhere between two and five ships per side, realistically. As of yet, we have yet to get a proper game in, but I can see keeping X-Wing as a nice casual side game for both of us to steadily expand. That being said, I doubt I would ever get into competitive play for X-Wing: aside from the fact that I already don’t participate in tournaments in 40k (more on that in a future post), what little I’ve seen of the X-Wing tournament meta speaks to a dizzying array of cards, gear and manoeuvres, and more than a few ships and combos that have roundly been decried as OP. At this stage, I feel somewhat unready to step into that…and beside which, I am reluctant to buy entire ships that I’m never going to use only because they come packaged with particularly competitive cards.

Fallout: Wasteland Warfare

I feel it needs to be said at this point that I am a big Fallout fan. Fallout 3 ranks as one of my favourite games of all time, and I absolutely love the grim humour and retro-future aesthetic of its post apocalyptic setting. It is for this reason that, ever since Modiphius announced they were doing a Fallout miniatures game (complete with beautifully rendered models), I have been awaiting this game eagerly.

Well, semi-eagerly. Before I dive into this game upon its release, I want to see, firstly, how popular it becomes in my area, and secondly, what the rules are like– both of which will dictate whether I get games in or enjoy said games. Modiphius’ premise of narrative campaigns, and of a settlement-building system akin to that in Fallout 4, intrigue me, but I want to see some games in action before I commit to it. Furthermore, while the models look amazing (those Brotherhood of Steel minis in particular demand to be painted), at the moment all of the factions appear to be from Fallout 4. This is not a bad thing, but I am hoping, further down the line, that Modiphius releases models for other factions from other Fallout games (the Enclave and the NCR, in particular).

Anyway, the year is still early, and I still have some time to decide what’s next (and beside which, I have other major life goals, like finding a new job and/or getting a place of my own at long last. Hopefully, when I have more space to dedicate to myself (and my manifold hobbies), I’ll be able to make a more informed decision…but regardless, I do intend to start something new this year. It is only a question of what.

Acquisitions: the Pillar of Faith and the Huntress

So a while back, I was feeling adventurous and placed an order through Raging Heroes, a French third-party miniature company that almost exclusively does female models that are compatible with most 40k armies. While their model line is kind of renowned (if not infamous) for their overly sexualized female models– I’ve seen one person on Facebook deride them as “Raging Hormones”– I have been able to find a few models in their catalogue that in my opinion are more badass than sexy. I went ahead and ordered two such models– Sister Ardanna, the Pillar of Faith, and Silkeeriss the Huntress.

And lo and behold, tonight they arrived:

Both are resin minis, which I’ve had mixed results with in the past due to its troublesome interaction with most glues (please don’t ask me about my Avenger Strike Fighter). No matter how much I try to rinse resin in soap, on some models it absolutely refuses to stick. It is for this reason that I know that both models will be tricky to assemble. Which is just as well, since the last thing I want to do is damage either of these finely detailed models with hasty clipping or some sort of gluing disaster.

Speaking of details…

Ardanna looks like she will be fairly straightforward to assemble, with the only tricky bits being her sword and the arms holding it. I plan on using her as one of the Canonesses of my Sisters of Battle Order, specifically one wielding the Blade of Admonition (Because come on, look at that sword, it has to be Damage 3). I know I’m going to paint her in my order’s scheme of white armour, blue tabard (yes, I know, white is hellishly difficult to paint), and I am eagerly looking forward to the end result.

Silkeeriss, meanwhile, will be trickier. Her left leg is in two pieces, her head looks like it will be hard to clip free without damaging the horns on her helm, and her fun arm looks like it will have to balance against her helm and shoulder. She will definitely be a trickier assembly job, and one that will be attempted second.

I plan on using her as a blaster-armed Archon for my Drukhari (not the only one, mind you, but a prominent one). At first I was torn between her gun-toting sci fi version and her sword wielding fantasy version, which looks equally badass. In the end I figured that a blaster would serve me better than what looked like an overly elaborate huskblade…although this purchase was made well before the new Drukhari codex was announced, so knowing my luck, they will probably get an awesome melee relic that the sword-toting version could have represented.

I am still uncertain of how I’m going to paint her, especially since I’m currently re-evaluating my army’s colour scheme, though her mask practically screams to be done in ivory, silver or porcelain.

I’ll try to post progress pics of these lovely ladies as I work on them. Merci beaucoup to Raging Heroes, you guys are awesome!

Wishlisting: The Drukhari are Coming

(Artist unknown)

So, yesterday morning I woke up and checked the interwebz to see what was going on in the miniature world. What I got was a big bucket of announcements on Games Workshop’s official news feed…starting with an announcement of their next three codexes after Thousand Sons.

Games Workshop’s Announcements at the LVO

Now, I personally know a T’au player and a person who is enthusiastic about Necrons, so both will be very happy with this news. But me…I only care about the fact that the Dark Eldar are next.

Or…the Drukhari, sorry. I’m never going to get used to this name change.

Along with the Space Marines, the Drukhari were one of my very first armies from the 3rd edition 40k starter box, and I still have a lot of their original models (the ones for whom “spikes on everything at all times” was the dominant aesthetic). I always loved their background– cruel space pirates who would arrive from out of nowhere and drag you back to the twilight dimension they inhabit, to the point where people began associating them with ghosts and demons. In my mind they had a highborn suaveness to them struck a nice contrast with the other “evil” armies of 40k– they weren’t driven by some biological imperative like the Tyranids or raging fanaticism like the Chaos Space Marines, but simply by their own twisted, selfish nature. While a Chaos Lord would be yelling about blood and skulls, a Dark Eldar Archon would be sipping a nice wine while plotting the assassination of his rivals and telling Mr. Bond how he was going to die. They are evil, and they love it.

Being a Dark Eldar/Drukhari/ player has often been an experience of frustration or neglect, though: the Dark Eldar languished for more than ten years without a new model line or codex, while all of the armies around them enjoyed regular updates, model releases and support (especially if your army involved Space Marines in any fashion). Fast forward to the last eight odd years, however, where the Dark Eldar enjoyed a renaissance in 5th edition with an amazingly revamped model line, and a codex that was not only competitive, but was also fun– I fondly remember the plethora of wargear and options in that codex, as well as the long list of named characters, and the fun new Power from Pain rule that made the Dark Kin more deadly the more units they destroyed.

It was because the 5th ed codex was so enjoyable that I found the 7th ed one to be so lacklustre, with most of its more interesting rules streamlined, a lot of its competitive units nerfed, and almost all of its unique wargear and special characters removed. It became a dull, weak book, especially since it was released at the start of 7th ed, before broken things like formations (which DE didn’t have) really took off. To make matters worse, the shooting-centric nature of that edition meant that the DE’s frail assault units became little more than pricey cannon fodder. For fun games, it was a passable if mediocre book, but to do well in a competitive setting it was usable only when allied with more powerful battle brothers like the goody two-shoe Craftworlders, which to me seemed like a final slap in the face.

Now, in the grand experiment that is 8th edition, the Index list for the Drukari has done a lot to fix what was wrong with the 7th ed codex, in my opinion: previously uncompetitive units like Mandrakes are suddenly worth taking again; the Troops slot has been expanded once more to include Wyches and Wracks; and the Power from Pain rule has been not only streamlined, but also been made flat out better, with successive results making the Drukhari harder, better faster and stronger over successive turns. As for the combat drugs…I just enjoy being able to choose the result for each squad, and the fact that you can have a different drug result per squad, rather than having to roll once on a random table for the entire army.

That being said, the army still has the same fluffy weaknesses it always had: they are still a universally fragile force (with the exception of the Coven stuff) that needs to do heavy damage in order to avoid taking too many losses of their own– in all respects they are the quintessential “glass cannon” force of 40k. At the moment, however, like every other Index force, the Drukhari are being overshadowed by the established Codex armies, lacking as they do nice things like relics, stratagems, etc.

So, here’s what I’m hoping to see with the new Drukhari codex (and what I know they won’t do):


Stratagems, relics and warlord traits (obviously)- I say “obviously” because it has been a staple of every recent codex to include a sizeable list of these, even when (or rather, especially when) there are no new models to go with the army release. At the moment, the Drukhari have one decent stratagem, one okay relic, and three warlord traits (two of which are good, one of which is merely okay) all courtesy of Chapter Approved 2017. I would like to see this list expanded, especially since stratagems are proving to be one of the competitive factors of 8th edition. For stratagems, I could see a return of the old “flyby” ability of the Reavers by letting them inflict mortal wounds if they move over an enemy unit, or a stratagem that lets you choose more than one combat drug result for a unit, or even something that lets your units jump up further on the Power from Pain table. For relics, I’ve noticed with some of the more recent codexes a trend of making terrible old relics useful, and so I anticipate this trend continuing for the Drukhari (Yes, even for the infamously bad Djinn Blade, which was a mediocre weapon that had a minor chance of killing its wielder outright).

As for warlord traits…well, all I can say is they can’t be much more underwhelming than their 7th ed incarnation. Moving on.

A Continuation of the Story- the last Dark Eldar codex teased at some interesting plot developments, hinting at a civil war in Commorragh that was about to erupt between Asdrubael Vect and Lady Malys, and a giant daemon-gate that was threatening to open and engulf the whole Dark City. The old Cult Mechanicus book, in turn, established that the Mechanicus had struck a devil’s pact with the Haemonculi to obtain their life-preserving technology, possibly in a desperate effort to keep the Golden Throne functioning. Unfortunately, from what I heard, while the Daemon invasion actually begins in the Fracture of Biel-Tan book, it is a glossed-over event, a minor detail set against the story of Yvraine. I want to see this explored a lot more in the next Drukhari book, to see what, if anything, has changed in the Dark City with the coming of the Great Rift.


Updated rules, especially for some lackluster units- Although the Index is definitely a step above the old 7th ed codex in terms of playability and enjoyment, there are still units — Hellions and Taloi, I’m looking at you– that I would be reluctant to field without a Webway Portal stratagem, either because they are too fragile to make it into combat, or too ponderous and slow. Which sucks, because they have wonderful models and deserve to be tried out. Updated rules for these units would definitely be a good thing, in my opinion.

Speaking of which, Archons- As far back as even 3rd/4th ed, Archons were an absolute terror on the battlefield, their great statline, unique wargear and deadly weapons enabling them to go toe to toe with even monsters like Greater Daemons and Hive Tyrants and still come out on top. The same held true for their 5th ed incarnation, but in 7th ed…while they retained their shadow fields, they ended up losing soul traps and combat drugs, not to mention weapons that could reliably pierce the 2+ armour save you found on so many enemy characters. While they did gain access to blasters as a unique ranged option, they nonetheless found themselves being woefully outclassed by Space Marine Captains, Wolf Lords and Warbosses, whereas before they had been reliably able to take on and beat these characters. This wasn’t helped by the fact that the Archon was considered to be so overcosted, that a lot of competetive Dark Elder players skipped him/her outright and used a cheap Lhamaean as their HQ choice instead.

Right now, in their Index incarnation, they have less of an issue with armour, but they are still lacklustre in the fight phase. With their only weapons at the moment being the agonizer (which always wounds on 4s, but has mediocre AP and is only damage 1) the huskblade (which has decent AP and does d3 wounds, but relies on the Archon’s crappy strength of 3) and regular power weapons, the Archon is mediocre in the fight phase and seems better suited to ranged combat– something that seems contradictory, given how often in fluff Archons relish humbling their foes in close combat. The free shadowfield is nice, at least, until it’s hit by something that does mortal wounds.

Here’s hoping that in the next book Dark Eldar leaders (not just Archons, but hopefully Succubi and Haemonculi as well) get access to a wider range of weapon options, including relics. Really, I just want my army’s leader to feel like the all powerful villain he/she should be, and not like some pointy eared twit who gets steamrolled by the next Space Marine Captain they meet.

And on that note: Wyches- as much as I think Wyches are improved by the new combat drug rules and by the bubble effect of the Succubus, they still have one major weakness: overwatch. In 6th and 7th ed, Wyches almost never saw action precisely because they would die like ants when charging anything even remotely shooty– which sucks, because I have often seen them depicted in fluff as dancing through enemy fire as they charge. A simple solution would be to give them a permanent invulnerable save as opposed to a close combat-only one, or even a reduced invulnerable save against shooting. Really, if GW wants people to play Wych Cults, then they need to fix Wyches first.


New plastic kits- Incubi, Grotesques, Mandrakes and Beast Packs could all use plastic kits. Just saying. Given that there is the faint rumour that Kabals, Wych Cults and Haemonculous Covens will all be getting their own special rules, more plastic kits would only make sense to me. Unfortunately, GW seems to be of the mindset of wanting to avoid making new minis for existing armies if they can help it (other than for Space Marines, obviously), so I doubt this will happen.

Bring back ye old special characters, darnit- As I mentioned previously, the old 5th edition Dark Eldar codex had a plethora of named characters, from the Hellion Baron Sathonyx, to David Bow– er, Duke Sliscus, a charmingly mad space pirate, and above all else, the big bad of the Dark Eldar, Asdrubael Vect– the Machiavellian genius running the Dark City. While some of these characters were, obviously, more powerful or useful than others, they all served to add to the flavour and fun factor of that codex.

Fast forward to 7th ed, however, and almost all of those characters were removed, save for Lelith Hesperax, Urien Rakarth and Drazhar– in other words, the only characters that GW bothered making models for. While Dark Eldar weren’t the only victims of this shortsighted policy (Grey Knight and Imperial Guard characters without models were similarly axed), what made this infuriating was that Asdrubael Vect (and to a lesser extent, Lady Malys) still featured heavily in the background of the book, despite having neither models nor rules!

I am hoping that in the next codex, GW sees sense and makes models and rules for these fun old characters (or at the very least, for Vect). Unfortunately, given GW’s seeming reluctance to make new characters for existing armies, I doubt this will happen, and these characters will remain unusable in game.

That’s what I’d like to see at least. Please feel free to comment on what you want, or expect, from the new book.

WIP: Arco-Flagellants

Just I’d share a WIP unit from my 40k Sisters of Battle army– a humble (albeit crazed) unit of Arco-Flagellants.


For their bodies, I used Empire Flagellants. I was tempted at first to use Undead Ghouls as a basis instead, given that their hunched appearanance makes them look like they are in mid-run, and their crouch also would make it easier to insert tubes, wires etc into their backs to make them look horribly augmented. In the end, however, I went with the Flagellants, as they have a ragged, demented look to them that, while less frightening, certainly gives off the impression of religious mania. Although Arco-Flagellants, in fluff, are prisoners and heretics who have been forcibly converted into crazed battle-cyborgs, I kind of like the idea of them being zealots who have willingly undergone this procedure instead. To me, it makes them that much more horrifying.

The buzzsaws, etc, are Kromlech Mechanical CCW arms, though given the small number of said arms in a blister pack, I’ve also been making use of the flails and whips in the Flagellants box as well, in some instances attaching them to the Arcos by the wrist. For heads, wherever possible, I’ve been sticking to Flagellant with metal bands covering their eyes, again to simulate the effect of modification. Sadly, there are only a few “covered” heads in the sprue, and I want the rest of the squad to be similarly covered– after all, in the background, all Arco-Flagellants have been affixed with pacifier helms that keep them docile until their combat drugs are triggered.

I’ll be making more progress posts of these guys (as well as of other projects I’m working on) as I work on them.

Batrep #1- Adepta Sororitas vs Orks- The Saint and the Idol

(Image above by Yang Zheyy at


“…from the perfidy of the alien, o Emperor, deliver me; from the wickedness of heresy, o Emperor, deliver me…”

By Confessor Mattias Elastor’s count, he had voiced the Benediction of St. Cyrus twenty-two times in the last hour alone, and the Hymnal of St. Thor at Gathalamor another fifty-three. He couldn’t remember when he had last slept, or for that matter, when he had last eaten anything—his fear had been overriding his hunger, and at some point it had turned into just a general, bone-hollow weariness. It was that, and the shrapnel that had lacerated his left leg, which had eventually forced him to stop moving and take shelter in the half-exposed second storey of this ruined Administratum office.

He clutched his rosarius all the more tightly, even though its power field had long since gone out. His once fine priestly robes were now nothing more than tattered, soot-darkened rags, and his beard was a scraggly mess. Propping himself up against a ruined desk, he took another glance up at the sky, smothered grey by the smoke of distant battlefields. Somewhere in the distance, he could hear the rumble of thunder. He wouldn’t be out here, he knew, if the Ork warplanes hadn’t intercepted the convoy that had been conveying him to the supposed safety of the capital city. It was only by a miracle that he had survived the destruction of the Chimera he’d been on when that Ork missile had struck it.

Upon reflection, it had to have been a miracle: clearly, it was only by the God-Emperor’s intervention that he yet still lived. It was through the God-Emperor’s protection that Mattias would live through this yet. At least, that is what he kept telling himself. As it was, lately he had been beginning to lapse in and out of consciousness. Blood poisoning, maybe, or hunger, or possibly both. He could no longer tell how long he’d been here.

He was about to take another sip from a canteen he’d taken off of one of the dead Guardsmen when an electronic snarl made him jump. It took him a few seconds to realize that it was the vox-unit lying on the nearby table. He had been trying to get a bloody signal out all throughout this ordeal: now, all of a sudden, he was receiving one.

“Convoy Theta, come in!” a female voice spoke from the other end. “Convoy Theta, if any of you are still alive, do you read?”

Hurriedly, Mattias snatched up the vox unit, almost dropping the damned thing as he fumbled with its activation stud. “I’m here!” he exclaimed, almost surprised at how hoarse his voice sounded. “It’s me! By the Emperor’s grace, I’m alive!”

There was a short silence on the other end before the voice spoke again. “Confessor Elastor, is that you? Please confirm.”

He nodded hurriedly, despite the fact that this woman obviously could not see the motion. He felt exhilarated just to be talking to someone. “Yes! I’m alive! E-everyone else died in the attack, but…I survived!” He tried to jump back up to his feet, only for the raw pain of his leg to cause a whine of animal pain to escape his lips. “Nnnnh…but…I’m also injured. Yes.  I…I don’t think I can move any more.”

In the distance, the thunder grew louder. Elastor could almost feel it in his bones. A storm was brewing.

“Acknowledged, Confessor,” said the voice. “Keep your current position: a rescue force is on its way. Be advised, though, there is a sizeable enemy force moving towards your position.”

Mattias’ heart skipped a beat. “What?” He clutched the vox unit even more firmly. “Then we have no time to lose! We have to get to the capital!”

There was a tremendous thunderclap in the distance—one so massive it felt like it shook the ground.

There was a silence on the other end. “Confessor…the capital hive fell two days ago. And if I’m reading the signal right…you’re in enemy-captured territory.”

Slowly, the vox clattered from Matthias’ shaking hand. Again, he heard the thunder-clap—a tremendous, ear-splitting tremor that sent vibrations rattling through him. Next to him, the canteen he’d placed back on the table clattered to the floor with a metallic thud. Slowly, and wordlessly, he pulled himself up to the edge of a ruined window and peaked over it.

In the distance, past the edges of the ruined hab-complex, came a tide of bodies, hunched and muscular, with skin the colour of rotting leaves. Above them loomed a tremendous shape—vast and squat, with a gigantic saw on one arm, a fearsome multi-barrelled cannon in the other, and a lense-eyed head fashioned in mockery of a tusked Greenskin face. A walking mountain of metal plates was stomping its way towards him, crushing everything in its path.

Quietly, Mattias began to mouth the Benediction of St. Cyrus for a twenty-third time….



Welcome to my inaugural 40k battle report for this blog! Not too long ago I played my second ever game of 8th edition. I was (and to a degree still am) fresh with the rules, and I went into this game anticipating that I was going to make plenty of learning mistake. (Chances are, eagle-eyed readers will still spot more than a few rules errors that even I missed). I decided to give my Adepta Sororitas their second 8th Ed outing, and when I got to Sword and Board, arranged a game one of my LGS, and found myself in a game against Orks—an army that I had fought against maybe once in the past couple of editions.


I brought the following:


Saint Celestine- 2 Geminae Superiae- 250

Canoness- bolt pistol, power sword- 49

5 Battle Sisters- storm bolter, heavy flamer- 66

-Immolator- Immolation flamer- 103

5 Battle Sisters- storm bolter, heavy flamer- 66

-Immolator- Immolation flamer- 103

5 Battle Sisters- storm bolter, heavy flamer- 66

-Immolator- Immolation flamer- 103

9 Arco Flagellants- 135

-Rhino- 75

Ministorum Priest- eviscerator- 57

Imagifer- 40

Callidus Assassin- 80

5 Dominions- 4 meltaguns- 114

-Rhino- 75

5 Dominions- 4 meltaguns- 114

-Rhino- 75

6 Retributors- 4 heavy bolters- 94

Exorcist- 160

Exorcist- 160

Back in 7th, this would be a more or less standard army build for me, minus the Retributors, Assassin and Arco-Flagellants. This army was really limited by my collection as well—as much as I wanted to field Repressors instead of Rhinos for the Dominions, I still hadn’t had any converted at this time. Beyond that, there were a few units that I was trying out for the first time, such as the Arco-Flagellants, and I tried to keep everything WSYIWG where possible, with the exception of some of my flamers masquerading as storm bolters. In hindsight, converting all of my storm bolters into (crappy-looking) meltaguns back in 7th was a poor decision.



My opponent, meanwhile, brought the following:


Big Mek- kustom force field

Big Mek- kustom force field

20 Boyz- sluggas and choppas, Nob w. power klaw

20 Boyz- sluggas and choppas, Nob w. power klaw

20 Boyz- shootas, Nob w. power klaw

Nob w. Waaagh Banner

Painboy- power klaw

Painboy- power klaw

Battlewagon- 4 big shootas, deffrolla




I almost immediately jumped when I saw the Stompa. I had not experienced dealing with one outside of a single Apocalypse game back in 5th ed, and had only generally dealt with a super-heavy in a regularly-sized game once before (wherein I was lucky enough to melta a Knight to death in one turn). Given my lack of knowledge of Orks, I had no idea of what to expect of the Stompa, save that it probably had a lot of dakka and would probably be able to destroy my entire army on its own if left unchecked.



For the scenario, we rolled Dawn of War and The Relic, and I for the role of the relic I provided the Uriah Jacobus model. I figured that Uriah had been stranded (or possibly wandered drunkenly) into no man’s land, and both sides were trying to retrieve him.





I set up with as many of my transports behind cover as possible, hoping to avoid the worst of the Stompa’s fire on turn 1. I concentrated most of my units on the right flank (a dumb move, in retrospect, as I should have tried avoiding and isolating the Stompa instead). The Callidus Assassin was kept in reserve, in the hopes that she could appear and kill an isolated character or two later in the game.






The Orks, meanwhile, spread bodies all across the table in proper horde fashion. The Nob and both Painboyz lurked behind the central-most mob of Slugga Boyz, the Battlewagon went on the far flank, and a Big Mek went into each of the vehicles to give them some force field goodness.







For Warlord traits, I gave Celestine +1 attack, and my opponent did the same for the Nob, his own Warlord (he at first mistakenly thought that the Stompa could be his warlord, until realizing that it was not a character).

I rolled to seize the initiative…and got it! And with that, the Sisters of Battle went first.




With the initiative now mine, my Order sprang into action. Rolling for my faith, I got a 1. Deciding that I really wanted to test out Acts of Faith in this game, I used a Command Point to reroll…and got another 1. My Imagifier, similarly, failed to net me a faith point. At this point, I figured it was going to be one of THOSE games.

Starting things off, I shuffled my Exorcists to get line of sight on the Stompa. I also tried to move the Retributors on top of the nearby building, but stopped when I realized that they didn’t have enough movement to make it to the top. A free move from a Faith point would have been REALLY helpful for that. On the left flank, my Dominions moved up towards the centre of the table in a rapid redeployment towards the right. I figured that the lone Battlewagon wasn’t too big a threat, and I really needed to get as many meltaguns as I could in range of the Stompa. The leftmost Immolator similarly hid behind the building, ready to move toward either flank as needed. On my right flank, however, there was a general advance, with two Immolators gunning towards the enemy with Celestine following just behind. The Dominions’ Rhino, similarly, moved up, just within rapid fire range of the Ork mob.




My general plan, at this point, was to lure the Orks into a charge. Hopefully, my transports would survive, and/or my Sisters would be able to disembark from their wrecks in good enough order to unleash short-ranged shoooting in reply. Celestine (and if necessary, the Flagellants) gave me decent counter-attack options. If the Stompa came this way, of course, all the better– my Dominions’ meltaguns would be in range to do major damage.

In the shooting phase, I unloaded with my Immolators on the right flank…and found that I was narrowly out of range. I had greatly overestimated the range of my Immolators’ fancy flamers. It was only after the battle that I realized that I could have advanced with them in the movement phase to ensure that they were in range. The Rhino, at least, rapid fired its storm bolter and plinked off two Orks. The Exorcists combined their fire and managed to deal 5 or 6 wounds to the Stompa (honestly, it became impossible for me to keep track after a while), and the Retributors opened up and mowed down 5 of the central Ork mob. Even after having moved, I found that my heavy support units were still hitting fairly accurately thanks to my Canoness’ reroll 1’s bubble.





In the Ork turn, the Greenies responded as I anticipated…mostly. All across the board, the Ork mobs moved up, with the centre and rightmost mobs advancing as well while the Battlewagon did the same. What took me by surprise, though, was when the Stompa moved and ended up mere inches away from my Immolators. I had had no idea that the Stompa had a movement of 12. Where I had originally hoped I would have a turn or two to deal with the big ugly, it was now right in front of my advancing Sisters.




In the shooting phase, I was given a none-too subtle reminder about assault weapons and advancing as the entire Ork line opened fire. The leftmost shoota Boyz managed to 1 wound to an Immolator, while the Battlewagon unloaded its big shootas on the Dominion Rhino and did 2. On the right flank, the Slugga Boyz fired their pistols inneffectially at the other Rhino. And then the moment I was dreading began as the Stompa opened fire…

…and to my surprise, didn’t do that much. Despite unleashing a storm of fire with gigashootas, rokkits, skorchas, deffkannons and a whole bunch of other Orky ordnance (Orknance?), I got off lightly, with 5 wounds done to the rightmost Rhino and no damage done to any of my other vehicles. The -1 to hit imposed by the Immolators’ smoke launchers really helped in this instance.

To cap things off, the Big Mek riding the Stompa proceeded to heal one or two wounds off the the big ugly. It would be doing so consistently throughout the game, making the Stompa just that much more of a headache.

Before I could breathe a sigh of relief, however, the Orks charged. The rightmost mob charged my Rhino…and to my horror, rolled high enough on their charge move to completely surround it. This meant that not only could the Rhino not break away from combat, but also that my Dominions and their precious meltaguns would be trapped and destroyed along with their transport. The Stompa, similarly, dual-charged both of my Immolators, though it took a few wounds from overwatch in the process.



In the ensuing close combat phase, the Stompa effortlessly wrecked one Immolator, forcing me to spend a command point to avoid an explosion, though two of the girls inside were killed. The Ork Boyz, on the other hand, by some miracle only inflicted 3 wounds, leaving the Rhino clinging to life, albeit no less doomed.






With the Stompa now practically breathing in my girls’ faces, I needed to deal with it, and fast. As my mind frantically raced for a plan, I initiated my faith powers; Celestine and her Geminae moved over on top of the building, giving them options to go after either the Stompa or the central mob. The Retributors, meanwhile, got to shoot out of sequence, mowing down another four of the central mob despite their nearby Painboy. (In retrospect, I should have given them an extra move to advance up on top of their adjacent building, but oh well). Finally, the recently de-Rhinoed Sisters used their Faith move to move away from the Stompa…for…some reason I can no longer remember.

In the movement phase proper, the Arco-Flagellants and their attendant Priest disembarked to go say hi to the central mob, while their Rhino swung around to support the right flank. The idea at this point was to buzzsaw through the centre with them, then turn them around to deal with the other Boyz and take the relic. The other unit of Dominions and leftmost Immolator moved further up to the centre, while on the right flank, the surviving Immolator disengaged with the Stompa, its passengers content to stay inside for now.



Finally, realizing that I had nothing else that could hold the big guy up, I sent Celestine and the Geminae around towards the Stompa’s rear, ready to buy time with their (constantly respawning) lives.


(Pardon the boring, unpainted and unfinished Arco-Flagellants in the background)

Oh yes, and being the dummy I am, I forgot to reveal the Callidus Assassin this turn. Moving on.

In the shooting phase, everything I had unloaded on the Stompa, Exorcists, Retributors, my lone Immolator that could shoot and even Celestine all firing up into the metal behemoth. I can’t remember exactly, but I think I did something in the range of ten to fifteen wounds to the big lug. Both my opponent and I were fairly impressed by the damage output of the Exorcists.


Then came the big moment as I declared my charges. In the centre, the Priest charged into the central Boyz mob first, surviving overwatch unscathed before her pet murder-cyborgs followed after her. The Arco-Flagellants proceeded to unleash 52 rerollable strength 5 attacks into the Greenskins and ground them into a fine green paste, much to my opponent’s shock. From this point on, I have resolved to call my Flagellants “the Lawnmowers,” because they cut the grass so well. (Get it? Grass? Because Orks are vegetable based and…never mind)

Victorious, the Arco-Flagellants consolidated into the the Painboy and Banner Nob who had been lurking behind the Boyz. This, however, turned out to be a bad move, as the aforementioned characters, now that they were engaged, proceeded to smash down three Flagellants, with a fourth spontaneously combusting in the Morale phase. Hmm, that could have gone better.



In the centre, Celestine and her Geminae charged fearlessly into the Stompa, and, despite all the firepower it unleashed in overwatch, somehow made it into combat unscathed. Unsheathing her Ardent Blade, Celestine proceeded to hack four wounds off of the Stompa. Incensed, the Stompa swung wildly with its giant killsaw, hacking down both Geminae and leaving Celestine to face the Orks’ blasphemous idol on her own.


(Note, by the way, that both my opponent and I forgot that the Stompa CANNOT be locked in combat, as its rules allow it to move, shoot and charge normally after leaving combat. We would only remember this rule after the game.)

Finally, the Orks surrounding my Rhino laid into it with their choppas…and failed to do any damage whatsoever. Laughing that he would show his Boyz how it was done, their Nob revved up his power klaw…and missed with every single one of his attacks. The Rhino, for its part, failed to run down any Orks. Somehow, my Dominions were still alive, but they were still unable to escape with their vehicle surrounded, and so were still quite doomed. At this point I was really beginning to miss the old tank shock rules.



With only a few units unengaged in close combat, the Orky movement phase was short, but significant. Climbing the central building, Shoota Boyz advanced up and narrowly managed to grab the relic/preacher. The Battlewagon, meanwhile, circled around my flank to continue making a nuisance of itself.



In the shooting phase, the barrage of shootas and big shootas once again rang out, only to ping harmlessly off of my vehicles’ armour. The Slugga Boyz fired into combat against my Rhino, and similarly failed to do anything.

In close combat, though, things took a different turn, as the second Painboy charged in to join the big scrum against the Arco-Flagellants in the centre, and proceeded to crush two of my murder-cyborgs with his power klaw. In the rest of that ensuing melee, the Arco-Flagellants did a wound to one of the Painboys, while my Priest hefted her eviscerator and hacked the newly-arrived Painboy into bloody bits, only to be crushed in return by the other one. Finally, the Nob swung his (surpisingly deadly) Waaagh! Banner again, and managed to smash down another two Arco-Flagellants. Only one of the cyber-lunatics remained…and by some miracle, he passed leadership and remained in combat with the last Painboy. Woot!

Elsewhere, the Slugga Boyz once again hacked into the Rhino, only for their choppas to bounce off ineffectually. For a moment I thought the vehicle was going to survive another round, until the Nob remembered how to turn on his power klaw, and smashed off the Rhino’s last few wounds, destroying it and killing all of the Dominions inside. Despite my hopes to the contrary, the Rhino did not explode in the Orks’ faces.




Finally, in the big title fight in the centre, Celestine swung at the Stompa, but this time failed to do any damage to the big lug. The Stompa then swung wildly with its oversized choppa…and when all was said and done, had done 5 wounds to the Living Saint. Despite everything, Celestine was still standing and still fighting against the giant mechanical Ork idol…although I had been hoping that the Stompa would kill her this round, both so that she could resurrect out of combat and go contest the objective, and so that I could shoot the Stompa some more.  Alas.






At this point, the Orks were on the relic, and, more fool I, I had nothing that could go claim it in time (for some reason I did not think to disembark any of my squads to go contest it, although I still would have needed a fairly hefty advance roll to get onto the roof of that building). In the Faith phase, I had the Retributors climb halfway up the building in front of them to get better line of sight, while Celestine healed a wound. In the movement phase proper, meanwhile, I disembarked a squad of Sisters on the right flank, and, together with the survivors of the other squad and my assembled transports, moved to confront the Orks that had just killed the Rhino. The Dominions, meanwhile, disembarked and moved up, seeing that the Nob was standing out in the open now (I’m not sure if we played this right, by the way. Should the Nob not have been able to consolidate back into the ongoing melee with the last Arco-Flagellant?)

In the backfield, my Callidus finally remembered to show up, and popped up near the ongoing melee. Oh yes, and a Geminae came back to life, giving me the opportunity to hold the Stompa up even longer.

In the shooting phase, the Retributors and Exorcists fired into the Ork Boyz holding the relic, killing some 8 or 9 of them with extremely good rolling. In the centre, the Callidus fired her neural shredder at the Nob, popping a wound off of him and giving him a migrain, before the Dominions levelled their meltaguns and turned him into a molten green puddle.


Finally, on the right flank, Battle Sisters, an Immolator and a Rhino all fired into the Ork Boyz, flaming and boltering down and impressive 13 of them. Oh Immolation flamers, how I love ye.

In close combat, the last Arco-Flagellant (who I dubbed One Armed Larry, on account of some mid-battle breakage) decided to give the Painboy a dose of his own bad medicine, unleashing a crapload of attacks and reducing him down to one wound. Stunned at this display of unsanctioned surgery, the Painboy whiffed his return attacks. Go One Armed Larry!

Finally, in the ongoing title fight, Celestine once again flubbed her attacks. In reply, because wounds had already been allocated to her, all of the Stompa’s return attacks went onto her instead of onto the Geminae. I was forced to roll my saves one at a time. Naturally, I failed the first one, and Celestine instantly went squish… and then, as per her special rules, spontaneously resurrected again next to her faithful Geminae…who then took a giant chainsaw to the everything and died. Nonetheless, Celestine then saved all of the remaining wounds, and the combat continued to drag on. My opponent at this point was quite bewildered at just how seemingly impossible to kill Celestine was.



By this point, the Orks were starting to run out of models, and so started to focus on winning the game. The Shoota Boyz grabbed the objective and withdrew, hoping to escape with the preacher. The remnants of the Slugga Mob moved after the Sisters that had so injured them, and the Battlewagon angled around again to be annoying. Everything else at this point was either dead or in close combat.



In the shooting phase, everything either missed or bounced off of armour, and then we went straight to combat. The last of the Slugga Boyz charged the three-girl Sisters squad, losing two to overwatch from their heavy flamer. Even so, they made it in, and the last three Boyz were more than enough to hack the last three Sisters to power-armoured ribbons, before consolidating into the other Battle Squad and nearby Immolator and Rhino.

In the backfield fight, One Army Larry once again went first, but this time inflicted only two wounds. My opponent held his breath as he made one T-shirt save…and then rolled a 6 for Dok’s Tools! The Painboy remained standing, and then swung back, inflicting two unsaved wounds and crushing the last Arco-Flagellant to pulp. And thus endeth the tale of One-Armed Larry, Hero of the Ecclesiarchy.

Finally, in the big ongoing fight, the Stompa went first. This time, Celestine’s luck finally ran out: after failing a bunch of invulnerable saves, the Living Saint was finally crushed, dying for one final time. Given how long she had held up that Stompa, however, I wasn’t too displeased.




By this point, I realized that I had foolishly let the Orks grab the objective right from in front of me. With my faith points, I immediately the engaged Sisters swing in close combat, killing an Ork.  I then zoomed my leftmost Immolator (and the Sisters therein) across the flank to hopefully intercept and burninate the shootas, while my Exorcists angled to try to get line of sight to the blocking Battlewagon. My Callidus, meanwhile, went after the Painboy, and the Dominions, finally in sight of their big target, moved to engage the Stompa.

In the shooting phase, the Dominions (who I realize should have fired with Faith) shot at the Stompa…and after some abysmal rolling on my part, only did 3 wounds to it. The Callidus tried to mortally wound it with her neural shredder, but discovered that Stompas have a really high LD value. My rightmost Exorcist, at least, managed to plink a few more wounds off of it, while my Immolator, Retributors and other Exorcist all did something like 5 or 6 wounds to the Battlewagon. Not bad, but not great, either.

In close combat, the Callidus Assassin charged the Painboy, and proceeded to poisoned blade the last wound off of him. Without breaking stride, the Callidus consolidated after the retreating Shoota Boyz. As unlikely as it seemed, my sole chance of winning the game now seemed to rest on this one Assassin.



Elsewhere, the combat on the right flank ground on, with the Orks killing a Battle Sister, the Battle Sisters killing the last Boy, and the Rhino (or the Immolator, one of the two) running over the Nob a little and wounding him.







In the Orky turn, the Shoota Boyz continued to fall back, while the Stompa turned towards the meltaguns that had so irritated it last turn. In the shooting phase, the Battlewagon managed to do a wound to the nearest Immolator with its big shootas. The Shoota Boyz meanwhile unloaded everything they had on the Callidus, and managed to plink a wound off of her. The Stompa finally got to shoot again, and did so…unimpressivley. Its super-gatler mostly just pinged off the nearby Dominion Rhino, and its rokkits made excited whooshing noises and little else.


Its skorcha, however, unloaded into the Callidus, managed to do 4 wounds to her…and I proceeded to botch every single save. My Callidus was instantly reduced to a blackened heap, and my chances of retrieving the relic suddenly became much less likely.


In close combat, however, things got even worse. The Battlewagon charged the Immolator, taking a wound from overwatch, but still maging it in; it proceeded to demonstrate the power of its deffrolla by grinding two wounds off of the Immolator. More importantly, though, it had just denied my Immolator its ability to burninate Orks next turn.


In the centre, meanwhile, the Stompa multi-charged both the Dominions and their Rhino (somehow, in overwatch, the Dominions managed to miss the building-sized Ork walker coming right at them). The Stompa proceeded to crush and pulverize four of my five Dominons…but then, much to my surprise, the Rhino managed to wound it in return! Somehow, my last Dominion then passed her leadership test, keeping the big guy locked in combat. Well, that was…unexpected.

Finally, on the right flank, the Nob swung and crushed another Battle Sister, before the Rhino hit, wounded, and ran him over. All of my engaged units consolidated up the right flank, but this was ultimately a small victory in a losing battle.





Everything was getting desperate at this point: the Orks were getting away with the relic, and there was little I could do save kick myself for having let them get it in the first place. In the Faith phase, the Dominions regrew a Sister, but beyond that, everything I would have liked to shoot at was embroiled in close combat. In the movement phase, though, my Sisters re-embarked in their Rhino and zoomed up the right flank. My last hope, at this point, was a long flanking manouever around the Stompa to hopefully get at the retreating Shoota Boyz. To this end, I kept my Dominions and Rhino locked in combat with the metal behemoth, resolving to tie it up for as long as possible. This time, I remembered to advance with both tanks. My Immolator engaged with the Battlewagon, however, had no such resolutions, and left combat to try to skirt around after the Shoota Boyz again.

In the shooting phase, I recognized the problem that the Battlewagon posed, and so fired everything I could into it.  Both Exorcists and the Retributors fired into it, and managed to reduce it to five wounds or so. Despite my best efforts, though, the damnable thing was still up and running.


In close combat, the Stompa, predictably, stomped the last two Dominions, before wailing on the Rhino with its oversized chainsword. By some miracle, however, the Rhino survived on two wounds, and continued to hold the Stompa up.




The Ork movement phase was short and simple: the Shoota Boyz continued to retreat to their board edge, and the Battlewagon wheeled around to have annuva go at the Immolator.


With nothing to shoot, the close combat phase was short and brutal. The Battlewagon once again charged the Immolator, and once again, its deffrolla did its grisly work, reducing the Immolator to a handful of wounds. In an encore, the Stompa crushed the Rhino (to my chagrin, it did not explode), and then consolidated…

…right into the surviving Immolator that had been trying to sneak past it! Argh! I had fatally forgotten about that three inch consolidation move, and now another of my vehicles—and my chances of winning this game—were about to be gone.


The game, at this point, seemed to decide that I had had enough. The random game length came up as a 1, and the game ended in a decidedly Orky victory.






Well, it was a loss, but given that it was only my second ever game of 8th edition, I’m going to cut myself some slack. Looking back, I can narrow down three main reasons why I lost this one:

  1. I forgot about a lot of the new rules. In particular, I forgot that enemies can now consolidate into combat, that I can advance and fire with assault weapons (and that this rule extends to vehicles as well), and that casualties are no longer removed closest to closest– a fact that also came into play when I was firing everything I had at the Shoota Boyz to reduce their distance to the relic.
  2. I took my eyes off the prize: I made the classis blunder of getting so caught up in killing the enemy army that I neglected to go after the relic, or more importantly, to position a unit to be able to counter-attack any unit going after the relic. This ultimately cost me the game, and was a dumb mistake on my part. I had originally aimed to have the Arco-Flagellants clean up the Orks in the centre and then double back to deal with any Boyz taking the objective, but I had seriously under-estimated how tough Ork characters are (or alternatively, overestimated how tough Arco-Flagellants are)
  3. I was too reckless with my Dominions. I guess that in 7th, I was far too used to outflanking as opposed to scouting with my Dominions, and so I could never accurately judge how far was “too” far when moving up with scouting Doms. This cost me, as on the one hand, I wanted to position my Dominions to be a serious meltagun threat to the Stompa; on the other hand, I wanted to keep them out of potential charge distance of the Slugga Boyz. I ended up fatally miscalculating on both counts.


Still, I was happy to see that much of my army worked exactly as intended. My firebase of Retributors + Exorcists did a lot of damage each round (especially to the Stompa—my opponent revealed after the battle that I had done 25 wounds to the big thing), especially with the Canoness and Imagifier bolstering them. My Battle Sisters, once they worked in tandem, were able to do a lot of damage to the Ork Boyz, as did the Immolators (oh how I love those Immolation flamers). The Arco-Flagellants, even though they died to the last, were beautifully destructive. The Callidus was recurring headache throughout the game, constantly forcing my opponent to roll double command points or forfeit using them—her ability came into play so often in fact that I quickly felt dirty for using her. And Celestine, was, well, Celestine—easily the killiest and most durable thing in my army, and even though she was horribly outmatched against the Stompa, I am really impressed at how long she held up the big thing. The only letdown in my list was the Dominions, and that’s more because I feel like I misused them.

Ultimately, I’m going to cut myself some slack over this loss: it’s still my second game of 8th, and I’m still getting the hand of this game.  Ultimately, this game was good practice, and my opponent was fun to play against. I just need some more games, and maybe some changes to my list—as of writing this, I currently have Repressors and Penitent Engines in production….


Today had been a good day, Cogzog thought to himself as he hammered another rivet back in place. The horde had gotten into a good and proper scrap, and while a lot of the Boyz had been torched by the crazy armoured ‘Umie women, there were a lot more where they came from. What was far more important was that the Stompa, his beloved creation, had performed wonderfully in its first field test, crushing ‘Umie tanks and riddling scores of ‘Umie bodies with its godly amount of dakka. But most impressively of all, the Stompa had crushed that winged glowy ‘Umie—the one that all of the captured ‘Umie prisoners had called a “Living Saint” or something like that.

That had been no mere ‘Umie. Her eyes had blazed like those of a Weirdboy, she had a strange burny choppa that had cut through flesh and steel alike, and every time she or one of her girl-Nobz died, they would come back to life in a shining pillar of light. The ‘Umies had believed this glowy git to be blessed by their god, by their “Emperor,” and it had seemed invincible for a time, even cutting a lot of deep gouges in the Stompa itself. But nothing was invincible—nothing, that was, except the power of the Waaagh!

“Oi! Pass me a spanner!” Cogzog ellowed. A few seconds later, several of his Grot attendants came, carrying a large, rectangular lump of iron between them, straining under its weight. “Naw, not that, one of the bigga ones!” he growled, kicking several of the Grots away with an iron-shod boot. As the runts scampered away with a series of curses, Cogzog sighed and stepped back, taking a wider look at the hulking shape of the Stompa—and more importantly, of the many holes that had been blasted and scoured into its jagged hull.

They had hurt it. The very thought filled Cogzog with righteous anger. The ‘Umies had damaged his beautiful creation in that last battle. But what the pink-skinned weaklings failed to realize was that this was no war machine—it was a great and terrible idol, a walking avatar of Gork (or possibly Mork). And all the dakka in the universe  was nothing compared to the wrath of a god.

Cogzog’s features split into a hideous grin. Soon, the Stompa would be up and running again. With it, the Waaagh! would conquer this world, smash the ‘Umie cities, loot the ‘Umie factories, stomp the ‘Umie armies…and raze, burn and annihilate the ‘Umie churches. By the end of this war, the ‘Umies would realize that their fancy Emperor had nothing on Gork and Mork…that a dead ‘Umie on a fancy chair was nothing compared to real gods.

He heard a muffled voice from inside the Stompa. The bigshot ‘Umie priest was still in there, reciting his idiot prayers over and over again as he hung shackled inside the great belly of the Stompa. Just like all of the other ‘Umie priests Cogzog and his warband had captured– left to languish, rot and die in their new metal prison, as food for the idol of Gork and Mork. He always got a laugh over how these gits always expected their Emperor to save them, and their Emperor never did.

“Speak up, ‘Umie, I don’t fink ‘E can hear you!” Cogzog laughed, before scowling and turning back in the direction of his Grot assistants. “Now, WHERE’S DAT SPANNER?!”